Ajax defeated NAC Breda easily on Saturday evening. Ajax was 3-0 ahead at half time thanks to goals by Siem de Jong, Niklas Moisander – who made his debut – and Tobias Sana. Thulani Serero and De Jong (again) brought the final score to 5-0 in the second half. Miralem Sulejmani made his re-entry after a long recovery from his injury.
It was an evening of many goals, celebrations, and beautiful moments. After a 6-1 win over NEC last week, Ajax continued effortlessly in the same vein in the Amsterdam ArenA. To be sure, NAC coach John Karelse placed a phone call last week to fellow coach at NEC, Alex Pastoor. The NAC coach heard all about “How not to do it”. But that’s how it went anyway. To Frank de Boer’s satisfaction, Ajax kept a clean sheet this time. “Last time, I was pretty annoyed about that one goal which basically came about due to our negligence. That didn’t happen today, at least not as obviously as last week.”
Nicolas Moisander made his debut for Ajax on Saturday evening. A few days after signing a three year contract, the Fin appeared at kick off wearing an Ajax jersey for the first time. This was a great milestone, because in his 200th match in professional football, Moisander completed the circle which had started in 2003 in Amsterdam. After three years in A1 and Jong Ajax, the defender wasn’t ready at that time for the first team. Via FC Zwolle and AZ, Ajax’s 26 year old number 4 returned to the ArenA. Ninety minutes later, he was crowed ‘Ajax player of the match’. This honour was in part thanks to the goal he scored, which was the cherry on the cake for his first match in Ajax 1. A quick goal, as he sent in a header from Christian Eriksen’s corner kick past keeper Ten Rouwelaar at lightning speed. Moisander’s goal followed Siem de Jong’s early opening goal. After 1 minute and 42 seconds, he hit the mark under the ArenA’s closed roof. Ajax’s captain, who was functioning as a stand in for the injured Kolbeinn Sigthórsson (shoulder), began a solo which ended with an unbeatable low shot into NAC’s goal: 1-0.
Due to Theo Janssen’s departure (impending transfer to Vitesse) and De Jong’s moving into the centre forward position, a spot at midfield was freed up for Thulani Serero. The small South African played with Lasse Schone next to him as controlling midfielder. Just like last week against NEC, the Danish international got the nod to fill in the spot left vacant by Vurnon Anita’s departure for Newcastle United. The other new Dane, Christian Poulsen, watched his new employer’s confrontation from the stands. It’s expected that he’ll be ready to play by mid September for the Ajax’s next home game against RKC Waalwijk.
The first half ended as it had begun: with a goal. A De Jong pass was handily picked up by Gregory van der Wiel, and served up on a platter for Tobias Sana. The Swede ticked the ball in from nearby. After the two goals he scored last week against NEC, Sana showed his great capacity for scoring once again. The cheering for the crow favourite paid off. With a jump, he leapt over the boarding and mixed with the handicapped Ajax fans on the handicapped platform to celebrate his goal.
With a comfortable 3-0 lead at halftime, Ajax was able to play the entire second half freely. With fresh blood on the wings – Derk Boerrigter and Jody Lukoki – Ajax went hunting for more. Their biggest win against NAC (8-1) from exactly 44 years ago wasn’t duplicated, but despite that, there was plenty to enjoy in the second part of the match. Including a 4-0 score, four minutes into the second half. On a pass from Schone, Sana directly the ball beautifully to Serero, who rounded the play off perfectly. With a high shot, he sent the ball over NAC’s goalie. His first goal with Ajax was celebrated African style by the passer and goal scorer - with a dance.
A little while later, there was loud applause when Miralem Sulejmani started warming up half an hour before time. The 23 year old Serb has been suffering from a knee injury for about six months, and his re-entry meant the end of a long recovery. With Sulejmani on board, Ajax went looking for something extra. Among others, Daley Blind had a chance to score Ajax’s fifth, but the left back stumbled against the keeper. De Jong was more successful in the last minute. With a searing long distance shot, he determined the final score, 5-0.
It was thus good news for De Boer that he had found a temporary replacement for Sigthórsson in terms of goal scoring. With an eye on the transfer deadline, De Boer is vying for reinforcements up front. “Preferably, someone who can play both as a winger and centre forward”, said the 112 time international. “But today, I was very happy with Siem.”